Category Archives: Apple

iPad Mini Retina Battery Charge Time

Answer to how long does it take to charge the battery on iPad mini retina display.  I finally got my iPad Mini Retina with 32GB storage today.  I got mine 1 day before Apple officially mailed them out to customers who ordered from the Apple website.  Here are the details of the battery charge times of the iPad Mini Retina display, from 0% charge to a full 100% battery charge.

Note that these times below are the first charge.  In my experience, the first charge is a good indicator of future charges.  When I first switched on the new iPad mini retina it was at 87%.  I then used it through the day and drained the battery to 2%.  The retina iPad mini does not turn off at 4% charge like previous iPads.

I do not think it makes a difference to battery quality or charge times but for your information this is a 32GB iPad mini retina from Batch 1 retail tier production landed.  It is not the Batch 2 mini retina, which were UPS delivered from China to Apple customers ordering through the Apple website from the first week.  Some people on forums say those mini retinas have worse screen quality and are poorer quality overall.  I have no idea.

Here are the results of the iPad mini retina battery charge tests.  Yes I stayed awake to record these battery charge times.

  • iPad mini retina test start at 2% battery charge at 11.44pm.
  • 13% 12.04am
  • 20% 12.17am
  • 28% 12.31am.
  • 36% 12.46am
  • 43% battery charge at 12.59am.
  • 57% charge at 13.26am
  • 61% at 13.34am.
  • 69% at 13.49am
  • 80% at 14.09am.
  • 89% at 14.30am
  • 94% at 14.46am
  • 95% at 14.52am.
  • 97% at 15.07am.
  • 97% at 15.13am.  Yes this is correct, a double 97%.  It is possible the iPad mini is recalibrating the battery pack, see below for details.
  • 100% at 15.18am and the iPad mini battery test is complete.

Total ipad mini retina battery charge time is 3 hours and 15 minutes.

There are three important points I think are worth discussing here.  The total time taken, the 80% charge drop and the double 97%.

The total time to charge the iPad mini of 3 hours 15 minutes is faster than the time it takes to charge an ipad 3.  This is great news, and means you can charge the mini during the day, at work or while doing other activities.  With the iPad 3 the best strategy, as recommended by Steve Jobs, was to charge the ipad overnight.

Regarding the 80% charge point.  Previous ipad models, like the iPad 3, have a cut off at 80% battery capacity where the charge cycle would charge from charging normal to trickle charge, which takes longer.  Here we see the 80%+ period of battery charging takes 30% of the charge time (just over 1 hour).  However, my guess is the trickle charge on the ipad mini retina is later than the previous ipad models.  Maybe around 90-95% battery charge before it begins trickle.  This is great for charging and means you get a larger battery charge, faster.

The double 97% is not because I was tired.  Shock.  I double and triple checked the battery percentage to make sure I was not seeing things.  Maybe this double comes from the battery self calibrating because it was a first charge.  I have no idea.  When I do the second ipad mini battery charge tomorrow I will see if the issue reoccurs.

That’s the end of the battery charge times analysis for the iPad mini retina.  Hope it proves useful if you were looking for this information online.  You can leave a comment saying thanks if you have a few second free.

How to make a bootable Mountain Lion USB install drive

Make a bootable USB drive Install of Macbook Pro OS Mountain Lion.

This is the process I used to make a bootable USB drive of the Mountain Lion Operating System on my Macbook Pro. My Macbook was the Macbook Pro 13″ inch 2012 model. This process for making a boot drive can work for other Macbook types too.  Difficulty rating 2/10, maybe even 1/10, super easy!

This is the process I used to create a bootable USB drive of Mountain Lion OS X for my Macbook pro.

Why Make A Bootable USB Install Drive for Mac Mountain Lion OS?

The main reason to make the bootable USB drive is to not have to download the 4GB file every time you want to do a reinstall of the Mountain Lion operating system.

The second reason to make a bootable USB OS drive is it makes reinstalling the operating system faster.  Using a USB drive method without the downloading makes a full reset take 30 minutes.  Without the USB drive it will take hours.

Tools you will need:

  • Macbook Pro. I have not tested this with other Macs, it should work 9/10.
  • Internet Connection to download the 4GB Mountain Lion install file from Apple.
  • OS DOWNLOAD USB DRIVE. 12GB or more USB Flash Drive. I used a 32GB USB drive, 12GB is the minimum amount of Geebees you need. More is okay, like 32GB is fine.
  • OS BOOT USB DRIVE. Optional 8GB or more Flash drive for a permanent USB drive, or you can reuse the OS DOWNLOAD DRIVE. This is optional because you can copy the files onto your hard drive and then on to the OS DOWNLOAD USB flash drive again whenever you need it. I used a separate 8GB USB Flash drive for my OS BOOT DRIVE to keep a permanent solution. I got my 8GB USB drive from Ebay for $6.

No extra Mac software is required to make or use the USB boot drive method.

Preparing the USB drive

Turn the Macbook pro ON. Insert the OS DOWNLOAD USB Flash Drive into the Macbook Pro.

Open the Disk Utility Program. (Hold the CMD key and press space bar -> Type “disk utility” without the quotes -> select disk utility from the list that is shown).

Now we will partition the OS DOWNLOAD USB drive and make it bootable. In disk utility, select your OS DOWNLOAD drive on the left panel by clicking on it. Make sure you click on the part of it that is most to the left on the left panel. Not the sub heading of it, the main heading. The main part that might say something like “28.36 GB NAMEOFCOMPANY”.

Now in the big panel on the right choose partition at the top, it should be the middle tab, between Erase and RAID. If you do not see the option to partition you did not click the correct drive on the left or clicked the sub heading. Make sure you clicked the main entry for the Flash drive.

In the partition area first click on the “choose” above the big box (in the “volume scheme” area) and change it to “1 partition”. Then click options just below this box and select the GUID partition table option, then click OK.

Now on the right of this area enter a name for your drive, like “OS X Installer” and change the format to “Mac OS Extended (Journaled). When you’re happy choose Apply and agree to the question that asks if you are happy to erase the Flash drive. Check to make sure it is the correct drive before agreeing! I am not responsible for your mistakes here!

Once it is complete you will have a clean USB drive ready for the Lion Operating system download.

End of formatting and partitioning the OS DOWNLOAD USB drive procedure.

Downloading the OS Install Files From Apple

Now with the formatted and partitioned OS DOWNLOAD USB DRIVE inserted shut down the macbook pro. Once the Macbook pro is off hold the CMD and r keys. Now turn on the Macbook pro while keeping hold of the CMD and r key. This will activate the Macbook Pro restore feature.  Every Macbook Pro has this feature to reinstall the operating system at anytime.

Once it has loaded, release the CMD+r keys and choose the second option – “Reinstall Mac OS X”, and hit continue. Now it will ask for verification through your internet connection. Agree to this and select YOUR USB FLASH DRIVE AS THE LOCATION to install. This is important because we want to download the files from Apple onto our USB drive.  Once you agree, it will start the download.


Once the download is complete you must pull out the USB Flash drive as soon as the black screen shows. If the screen is black, pull out the flash drive! Don’t wait, just pull it out. If you wait it will start the installation and delete the files from the USB and you’ll have to do it all again. You need these installation files to create a bootable USB Lion drive.  So, once the timer is close to 0 BE READY.  A few seconds after the timer goes to zero seconds remaining the the screen will turn black.  Remove the USB at the black screen!  Not before, and not after.


You pulled out? great. Now you have a USB Flash drive with OS Mountain Lion! That was the hard part completed, now the easy stuff.

Keeping the OS DOWNLOAD USB drive OUT of the Macbook pro and start the Macbook. It will load as normal. Press CMD+SPACEBAR and type “disk utility”, then select disk utility from the list. Now insert your USB drive with the operating system on it. Copy all the files from it to any location on your hard drive. I copied them into the Download folder, but you can put them anywhere you like.

Now open the folder you copied onto your hard drive. Look inside and you will find a big 4GB file ending in .dmg. This is the main file you need.

Insert your OS BOOT USB DRIVE. You should have already partitioned this drive, with a GUID and with “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”. Use the usb guide above to do this.  If you are reusing your OS DOWNLOAD DRIVE partition and format it again using the above procedure once you have copied the operating system folder to your hard drive (we just did this in the last paragraph!).

Click on this big .dmg file to open and it will mount the .dmg file. Now go back to disk utility. You should have your OS BOOT USB DRIVE attached to your Macbook Pro and you will see the “InstallESD.dmg” file shows as mounted at the bottom of the left panel of disk utility.

Click on the InstallESD.dmg file on the left. At the top of the right pane choose “restore”. It shows two area you need to enter. Source and Destination. Source should already be filled with InstallESD.dmg. If it is not, then enter that now by browsing to the big file and inserting it into the Source box.

For the destination we want our BOOT USB DRIVE. So drag and drop that from the left panel to the Destination part.

When you are happy click the restore button to start the restore process. This takes around 30 minutes. Once complete you have your complete USB BOOT DRIVE!


To use the USB boot drive on your Macbook Pro, first insert the drive into the Macbook. Then shut down, or restart the computer. As it is turning on hold down the ALT key. This will show a special screen allowing you to select a startup disk drive. Select the USB drive (it is usually orange). The Macbook will shut down and restart using the USB drive as the Boss.

There was a problem installing Mac OS X, try reinstalling. If you get this error you will need to zap PRAM.  This sounds bad, but it’s nothing really.  Simple instructions for zapping P RAM below.

To zap PRAM shut down the Macbook Pro. Now hold down CMD+OPTION+p+r and turn on the Macbook Pro. OPTION is the “Left ALT” key and has a small bird symbol. It is near the CMD key on the left of a Macbook Pro keyboard.

When you turn on the Macbook Pro with the above keys held it will quickly reset and the screen will go to full brightness. This is the indicator that the PRAM has been cleaned. The PRAM holds simple hardware variables, like brightness level and it’s a safe procedure recommended on the Apple website. I take no responsibility if any of the advice here or on this website damages anything! I have completed every step here myself and have no fear doing it again, it is safe as far as I am concerned.

After zapping the PRAM insert the Installer USB Flash Drive into the Macbook Pro and turn off. Then turn on again while holding the ALT key on the left of the keyboard. Yes, just the ALT key and nothing else. The ALT key is near the Cmd key which is on the left of the space bar. Just hold this ALT key and start the Macbook Pro.

When it starts it will show you some hard drive options. Choose the orange Hard drive that represents your USB drive. Click it and it will take you to the install Lion screen. Now just follow the simple instructions to complete the installation of Lion! It takes about 8 minutes to prepare installation and 35 minutes to complete the installation process itself. You Macbook Pro will restart when the process is complete.

Congratulations! You have used a Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Mountain Lion OS X. You can now repeat this process at any time to reinstall OS X on your Macbook Pro without needing an internet connection.  This process can work for other Macbook Pro versions too.

Leave a comment below if you found this guide useful or want to clear anything I missed, thanks :)

This is the end of the guide on how to make a bootable Mountain Lion USB Install Drive.

Which iPad to Buy?

Which iPad should I buy? Black or white iPad, 16GB, 32GB or 64GB. In total you have 6 possible combinations to choose from and it is a difficult decision. I have used them all and here is my perspective.

Black or White iPad?

The black iPad is better for viewing movies and makes colors appear more saturated. This means colors look more colorful on the black iPad.

The white iPad looks cleaner and prettier. The white ipad also looks new and fresh in design because the ipad 1 and 2 were black so people instantly know you have the new ipad when they see

Many people say the black iPad is for men and the white iPad is for girls. I don’t agree with this because it is just colors. How can a color prefer a gender?

I personally have the black Ipad 3. Sometimes I regret buying the black ipad and wish I’d chosen the white iPad because it looks nicer but then I stop caring. It’s just a color and whichever you choose you will sometimes feel regret.

I recommend buying the iPad that matches your desk setup or go to the Apple store and see them yourself and choose.

Which iPad 16gb or 32gb?

Buy the iPad with the most memory you can afford.

If you are on a very strict budget then buy the 16GB ipad. But only if you cannot afford the 32GB IPAD. Even though the 32gb ipad has double the hard drive space it feels like three times as much.

I recommend buying the 32Gb if this is your first iPad. Only buy the 16Gb if you never play games or use Garageband for iPad, which is 2 GB to install! IMovie for iPad is 700mb.

16gb is not enough if you play games on your iPad.

So finally, if I was buying an iPad 3 again I would buy the 32Gb black ipad. Remember that whichever option you choose, if you buy from an official Apple store you get the 14 day no-questions return policy if you change your mind and want a different color or size iPad. The Apple return policy will give you a refurbished replacement though so still choose your ipad carefully.

Should I Buy An Ipad?

An ipad is an amazing device to buy. Which iPad should you get and how much to spend? Let’s investigate.

Should I buy iPad 1, also called the original iPad – NO. Now that the new retina iPad is out you should never need to buy the basic original iPad 1. The original iPad 1 is now a toy.

Should I buy iPad 2? The main difference is retina screen on the iPad 3 and future upgrades to iOS software for one more year with iPad 3. Only buy an iPad 2 if:

  • You cannot afford the iPad 3 retina display version.
  • You have seen the ipad 2 and new ipad side-by-side and can’t tell the difference between the screen resolutions. Make sure you do this when watching a HD MOVIE or HD image because safari is not HD even on the new ipad.
  • You find a great iPad 2 deal. iPad 2 refurbished versions on the Apple site or on craigslist can be good deals. Be careful when using craigslist to buy things. Do not travel alone with cash for iPads from Craigslist and stay in public places.
  • you don’t care about it being useless in just 18 months. Apple supports products for about 3 years with OS updates. After 3 years it is very hard to make apps works because app developers stop supporting the old systems.

Should I buy an iPad 3 or should I buy the New iPad. Yes! I”m typing this article on one now and it is a joy to use. The retina display is beautiful and it has replaced 90% of my laptop time. It also improves your health because you’re not stuck at a desk all the time. If you can afford the new iPad 3 the buy it right away.